Chicago 2024 Workshop Recap

It’s been a month and I’ve finally managed to finish the edits from the Chicago Workshop, woohoo! As always, I had a fantastic group and we saw a lot of great architecture.

This year, we had 4 days (instead of the usual 3) to explore my hometown. With that additional day we had many hours to explore the University of Chicago Campus. So, let’s dive into what we saw.

Day 1

As I mentioned the workshop began on the UofC campus. Our first stop, which seemed to an overall workshop favorite was the Harper Center (designed by Rafael Vinõly); mainly, because of the great atrium inside.

A short walk away, one of my favorite brutalist buildings – The Regenstein Library, designed by Walter Netsch. On this visit, I focused on the nature/man juxtaposition.

Plus, a couple of B&W’s.

Then, onto the Studio Gang-designed Campus North Residential Commons. This one was rotated 180 degrees from its actual orientation.

After lunch a brief downpour we stopped by the Rockefeller Chapel. More nature/man contrasts + lights and symmetry, both inside and out.

Onto the newish David Rubenstein Forum (architects – Diller, Scofidio + Renfro/Park Fowler Plus). On this first one, I liked the still overcast skies diffuse light/sun breaking through and catching on the facade of the building. Great geometry on this one.

Sculptures are one of my favorite things to photograph. There are usually many ways to interpret the overlapping pieces. The Antoine Pevsner Construction in space in the 3rd and 4th dimension is no exception.

As you can see, it was still pretty overcast at this point so I preferred the B&W versions but wanted to share one color shot so you get a sense of the bronze color.

We had a few other campus stops which I didn’t photograph or capture anything I really liked. Then were were off to the Riverwalk for some architectural reflections in the water’s surface.

We grabbed pizza on the riverwalk to wrap up day 1!

Day 2

We started the day with some earlyish morning light at the Washington/Wabash CTA station (architect – exp.).

We then checked out a couple of indoor locations – The Palmer House (for its many great staircases, I only got one so-so shot) and an atrium at the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.

Time for a lunch break and then a visit to the Art Institute for more staircases.

Onto Millennium Park. I only managed a few shots at Pritzker this time (Frank Gehry). Always love those red seats reflecting on the stainless steel curves.

More curves at the Studio Gang designed Aqua. A range of high key to low key and a warm/cool, shadow/light contrast.

Nearby, Studio Gang’s latest addition to Chicago – the dramatic blues of St Regis. We had some interesting light/shadow play on its south facade as we approached.

We took a little break, grabbed dinner and shot our only evening location of the weekend – The Chicago Theater. My laziness with the tripod usually results in some ICM fun.

Day 3

Off to Lincoln Park for another Studio Gang design – The People’s Gas Pavilion. The attendees have no idea how lucky they are since this was just completely restored – new pods, newly stained wood, devoid of most spiderwebs and nature’s influence. It really was fantastic to shoot under these new conditions.

Get ready for a few too many shares of this one!

I have never seen the light make this particular pattern before. Not sure if it’s the new pods or just what was happening at this particular time of day and time of year. Either way, loved it!

Generally, I have a hard time deciding between black and white and color but the vivid blue sky contrasting with the warmth of the wood made that decision pretty easy this time. Only, the one below was preferred in BW.

Onto, the Gold Coast for a few locations. Here are a couple of takes on the John Hancock Building (Skidmore Owings & Merrill – SOM).

Then, the Museum of Contemporary Art (MCA) and another favorite staircase (Josef Paul Kleihues).

Time for a little lunch break before heading to River North for a few locations – Michigan Ave Apple Store (Foster + Partners), Wrigley Building (Graham, Anderson, Probst & White), Trump Tower (SOM), Marina Towers (Bertrand Goldberg).

Next, Chase Tower and its sweeping base (Perkins + Will).

Our final day 3 stop was Alexander Calder’s Flamingo.

Day 4

We started with the geometric cantilevered balconies, that make for great graphic editing, at 235 Van Buren (Perkins + Will).

Now, the private hour inside the Rookery (Burhan & Root, Frank Lloyd Wright, William Drummond). Everyone’s favorite is the incredible Oriel Staircase. I didn’t shoot much in here, so just one so-so shot.

Next, another sculpture. This time, the Atmospheric Wave Wall designed by Olafur Eliasson on the south facade of the Sears Tower.

Union Station – originally designed by Danial Burnham, recently restored by Goettsch Partners.

Another sculpture – Constellation by Santiago Calatrava.

Maybe this is turning into a sculpture photo workshop. Time for Picasso’s untitled piece in Daly Plaza.

Wrapping up with a visit to the Cultural Center.

Now, for a little BTS look at the group:) And, a huge thank you to all of them for attending the workshop. Don’t forget to check out their work here.



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